Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
"We Should Build A Muni In Vallejo"
The Times Herald in Vallejo posted a letter to the editor in early May from Chris Platzer; we want to share it with our readers. There are approximately 115,000 people in Vallejo and people like Platzer are looking for ways to better connectivity options. In the article, Platzer suggests his community take advantage of several well-considered steps to deploy its own fiber network.
Platzer suggests the community begin with an investment to create a network to connect a series of public facilities. He notes savings from discontinued leased lines could then be reinvested to incrementally expand the initial investment. He suggests maximizing use of fiber and conduit planted years ago; fiber planted with state funds to create and intelligent traffic system.
This approach would allow Vallejo to build a vast fiber optic network without issuing debt. The plan should encourage extra fiber, so when high tech companies ask for access to its fiber, Vallejo can oblige.
As more businesses request access, i.e. Kaiser and the CHP call center, a city fiber network can develop various ways to meet these needs. It can lease dark fiber to businesses that want it, including other carriers that want to connect their customers.
Platzer also notes that Vallejo could lease infrastructure to ISPs to generate revenue for the network and the general fund. A muni would open up other possibilities for and improve access for the community at large.
The accumulated savings could fund many public amenities, including free WiFi through out the City. In addition to synchronizing all the traffic signals in the City, the addition of video cameras on the network would assist public safety, and drivers would have several ways of getting real-time parking information. The telecommunications services the city could make available (telephone, cable and broadband) to local residents and/or business would have a profoundly positive impact on the General Fund and do much to enhance Vallejo as a "digital" destination!
We published a case study on how Santa Monica built a network using this very model.
Digital Equity LA Summit Pushes CPUC to Ditch Priority Areas Map
Study: Low Income LA County Neighborhoods Pay More for Internet Service Than Wealthier Neighborhoods
A new study from the Digital Equity LA initiative lays bare how low-income communities of color are impacted by the quiet business decisions of the county’s monopoly Internet service provider. Slower and More Expensive/Sounding the Alarm: Disparities in Advertised Pricing for Fast, Reliable Broadband details how Charter Spectrum “shows a clear and consistent pattern of the provider reserving its best offers - high speed at low cost - for the wealthiest neighborhoods in LA County.” Not only does it highlight how economically vulnerable households in LA County pay more for slower service than those in wealthy neighborhoods, it also provides evidence for how financially-strapped households are also saddled with onerous contracts and are rarely targeted by advertisements for Charter Spectrum’s low cost plans.
Rancho Cucamonga Cultivates Greenfield Fiber Vineyard
In the 1980s, Rancho Cucamonga proclaimed itself “The City with a Plan.” Back then, the plan was to remake this once rural enclave known for its vineyards into more than just one of the many sunny suburbs of Los Angeles. That forward-looking spirit was revived again 30 years later as city leaders looked to cultivate a digital vineyard with the creation of a “Fiber Optic Master Plan” – a six-year $13 million investment plan that targets the city’s new development. Today, the city along the famed Route 66 owns and operates Rancho Cucamonga Municipal Broadband in partnership with Onward, a local private Internet service provider.
Santa Clara County Moves Toward Municipal Fiber Network
Driven by Covid frustration and a boom in available grant money, Santa Clara County, California officials say they’re moving forward with their plans to explore a municipal broadband network, with the formal next steps expected to be announced at the tail end of this year.
New York’s First Bite of the Municipal Broadband Apple
Breaking new ground in New York, state leaders are launching the first municipal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) projects in the Empire State with funds from its new ConnectALL Initiative. Four small rural communities in four different counties will be the beneficiaries of New York’s initial foray into municipal broadband. At the end of May, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced the $10 million grant award, which will fund fiber deployments to the Village of Sherburne in Chenango County, the Town of Nichols in Tioga County, the Town of Diana in Lewis County, and the Town of Pitcairn in St. Lawrence County.
Digital Equity Legislation Continues to Make Gains in California
Two recent victories in digital equity work out of California give cause for celebration this week.